Erythrocyte membrane fatty acids in patients with multiple sclerosis

Hon, G. M. ; Hassan, M. S. ; Van Rensburg, S. J. ; Abel, S. ; Marais, D. W. ; Van Jaarsveld, P. ; Smuts, C. M. ; Henning, F. ; Erasmus, R. T. ; Matsha, T. (2009)


Background: Reports on fatty acids levels in multiple sclerosis remain inconclusive. Objective: To determine the erythrocyte membrane fatty acid levels in multiple sclerosis patients and correlate with Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale. Methods: Fatty acid composition of 31 multiple sclerosis and 30 control individuals were measured by gas chromatography. Results: The membrane phosphatidylcholine C20:4 n-6 concentration was lower in the multiple sclerosis patients when compared to that of the control group, P = 0.04 and it correlated inversely with the EDSS and FSS. Conclusion: Decrease in C20:4 n-6 in the erythrocyte membrane could be an indication of depleted plasma stores, and a reflection of disease severity.

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